Commentary: Foreign reporters cannot fully describe how tightly and much intimidation the Vietnamese authorities controlled and prevented Vietnamese patriots from joining the anti-China demonstrations. Security agents had been monitoring the movements of some famous and vocal activists for the past few days before the rallies held this morning in Hanoi and Saigon.
The Vietnamese authorities deployed more security force in order to intimidate the demonstrators, who were holding peaceful rallies with chanting, music, and singing like a carnival except for the political and patriotic characters.
The Vietnamese authorities resorted to force to break up peaceful assembly, which is a right enshrined in the Vietnamese Constitution and International Treaties that Vietnamese government had signed to respect the basic and universal human rights.
Even the well-respected revolutionary figures were harassed and denied of their rights of participation to these rallies.
For instance, Ms. Lê Hiền Đức, 80 year-old, nationally and worldwide famous figure for her revolutionary past serving as spy for President Ho Chi Minh and relentless leader of anti-corruption campaign, had been detained at her home by the police officers. She was up all night and anxious about the possibility of leaving her house this morning in order to join the rally with her friends and patriots.
She threatened that there would be blood shed before 9 am if she was not allowed to leave her house because her life would be worthless living in a oppressive regime, a regime that she had dedicated her life to fight for and now she is not even allowed to exercise her simple rights of a citizen. An ambulance was on standby at her house ready for any tragic eventuality.
Instead of devoting the meager resources to enhance the defense and protection of Vietnamese fishermen from Chinese aggression, Vietnamese authorities torn up their own constitution guaranteeing the citizen’s right of freedom of expression and assembly. Vietnamese government takes all measures and precautions to quash down the citizens’ anger and frustration at the blatant Chinese bullying actions in order to appease the giant big brother.
Vietnamese government has the opportunity of uniting the Vietnamese people from abroad and inside the country when the nation is facing a foreign threat. More than 4 million of Vietnamese descent living abroad are ready to help their native homeland. Close two million Vietnamese Americans alone can generate annually more than $100 billion of GDP, which is the same amount that 90 million Vietnamese produce. The Vietnamese Nation (Vietnam and Abroad) can easily generate about $ 300 billion of GDP per year. Overseas remittance has surpassed $10 billion in 2012.
Vietnamese and Jewish people share some similarities in their history; Vietnam was colonized by China for 1,000 years, but our ancestors have been able to preserve an independent Vietnam against all foreign invasions; Jewish people have returned to their homeland after 2,000 years, about 13 million Jewish people worldwide have been able to protect Israel state in hostile Middle East.
Vietnam’s defense budget can double or triple over night to reach $ 9 billion per year if Vietnamese government is willing to take steps for national reconciliation after 2 generations already and initiate democratization process with multi-party system like Burma has begun. The communist party can still hold on the power and share the power with other political parties and civil society during the democratization process and transition.
Unfortunately, Vietnamese communists (CPV) have chosen to hang onto the power with the support of the Communist Party of China. Vietnamese government has continuously praising the good relationship between the two Parties and governments even though China slaps daily at Vietnam’s face with their aggression and harassment. It is obvious Vietnamese communists have chosen to become the puppet of imperialist China.
There is still time for some good Vietnamese communists to put the national interest above personal interest and return to the cause of the people, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Time for Vietnamese to develop and embrace “Vietnamism”, the interest of Vietnamese people.
Source Associated Press
Vietnamese police broke up anti-China protests in two cities on Sunday and made about 20 arrests in the first such demonstrations since tensions between the communist neighbors flared anew over rival claims to the oil and gas-rich South China Sea.
Any sign of popular anger in tightly controlled Vietnam causes unease among the leadership, but anti-Chinese sentiment is especially sensitive. The country has long-standing ideological and economic ties with its giant neighbor, but many of those criticizing China are also the ones calling for political, religious and social freedoms at home.
Police initially allowed about 200 protesters to march from Hanoi’s iconic Opera House through the streets, but after 30 minutes ordered them to disperse.When some continued, they pushed about 20 of them into a large bus which then drove quickly from the scene.
As foreign tourists and Sunday morning strollers looked on, protesters shouted “Down with China” and carried banners bearing the slogan “China’s military expansion threatens world peace and security.”
Using loudspeakers, authorities urged them to disperse and tried to reassure them.
“The Communist Party and government are resolutely determined to defend our country’s sovereignty and territory through peaceful means based on international law,” it said. “Your gathering causes disorder and affects the party’s and government’s foreign policy.”
A smaller protest also took place in Ho Chi Minh city, according to blogger and activist Huynh Ngoc Chenh.
He said he was ordered to leave by police, but about 100 people gathered for 10 minutes before being dispersed.
“I’m frustrated,” he said by telephone. “There’s nothing to ban, the government should allow people to express their patriotism peacefully.”
Vietnam and China have long sparred over who owns the South China Sea, a dispute that the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are also parties to. Over the last two years, America’s diplomatic tilt to Southeast Asia and energy-hungry China’s growing assertiveness has focused international attention on the issue.
Vietnam last week alleged that Chinese shipping vessels sabotaged one of its seismic survey vessels in the South China Sea. This week the government warned Beijing not to do that again and presented a list of its violations in the disputed sea. China recently issued new passports containing a map showing the sea as belonging to it, causing anger in Hanoi and other regional states.
In the summer of 2011, there were two months of weekly protests in Hanoi, an unprecedented show of popular anger in the country. Earlier this year, there were also some demonstrations. Police dispersed them, gradually using more force as it become clear they were becoming a source of domestic opposition to the party.